Road Trip! Traveling Tidbits to Help You Stay on the Nutritional Track

With summer just around the corner, people begin to plan their day trips and vacations whether it is traveling for business or for pleasure. New destinations unfold opportunities to indulge in a variety of different foods along the way. Stopping at the occasional rest stop, grabbing a bite to eat in the airport, or visiting the all-you-can-eat buffet does not have to spell disaster. By planning, packing, or choosing the better food options, you are sure to head in the right direction!

On the Road

  • Bringing a cooler or packing snacks ahead of time will prevent stopping for impulse buys at local gas stations or rest stops. Some ideas for snacks to pack include:
    • Fresh cut-up fruit or vegetables-make your own snack baggies of carrots, grapes, and celery sticks.
    • Frozen bottles of water- doubles as an ice pack and refreshing drink
    • Baked whole grain crackers
    • Almonds, walnuts, pistachios
    • Individually packaged string cheese
  • Packing your sandwich helps you control your portion size. Create your own sandwich on whole wheat bread.

On a Business Trip

  • Tips for while at the hotel:
    • If a grocery store is nearby, take a trip to purchase some healthy snack items such as fruits, nuts or healthy choices from a salad bar.
    • If a microwave is available in the room, try to find healthy frozen meal options.
    • If a vending machine is the only option, try to skip the chips and head for the nuts or trail mix.
    • Room Service? Try to look for the healthier, more nutritious options when dining in such as grilled or steamed entrees and vegetable side dishes.
  • Eating tips for the continental breakfast:
    • Choose fresh fruit for added fiber.
    • Try the whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.
    • Avoid sugary donuts, sweet rolls, and pastries.
    • Try the plain yogurt with almonds and berries or toasted English wheat muffin instead of the breakfast sausage or muffin.

At the Airport

  • If you don’t have time to eat before an early flight, grab a quick breakfast such as a low-fat yogurt, fruit or cereal with low-fat milk on your way to the gate.
  • You can also try a small egg sandwich on a roll, but limit the extra add-ons such as cheese, sausage and bacon.
  • Need a snack between layovers? Choose a one-ounce sleeve of nuts or trail mix, and bypass the candy at the newsstands.
  • Drink water in between and during the flight to avoid purchasing snacks out of boredom or dealing with stress.
  • On the plane, be mindful of your snacking. Most of the snacks are refined carbohydrates dense in calories.

On Vacation

  • Be mindful at the buffet as those belly-busting events can spell disaster if you’re not careful.
  • Weekend warrior? Stop at your local grocery store to stock up on whole grain cereal, low-fat milk, whole wheat bread, low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit and veggies.
  • Plan a shopping list and go grocery shopping before the week ahead during family vacations. Have each family choose two meals to make during the week and alternate days. Not only does this same you time and money, it gives you free passes from cooking dinner every night and more time at the beach!

Heather Shasa MS, RD